The newly crisp morning air kissing cheeks until they blush...
The green leaves just beginning to fade yellow or flame saffron...
Children's recess shouts and laughter and the drilling drumline of the marching band drifting in on the breeze...
Halloween candy and high school football...
The sweet strains of Christmas music in the air...
Yes, you read that right. At my house, October means the start of Christmas music. If you, like me, have spent approximately two decades participating in church and school choirs, you probably understand. For the rest of you, October (right after the fall concert and All-Region auditions) is when the music fairy visits choir rooms everywhere under cover of darkness to fill the folders with songs of silver bells, sugarplums, and a Savior. Actually, in 2010 it's termed "seasonal" music, but when I was in school "Christmas" was still the standard usage.
Usually, Messiah choruses are the first into the player, but this year I, um, already started listening to those in, ahem, late summer. Or maybe August. Or, uh, July. Instead, the earworm of the day is "All Is Well," from the first Michael W. Smith Christmas album.
As I look around me and read through my prayer list, I am thankful for this song stuck in my head. It is a sermon I need to hear now and not to save to go under the tree in a couple of months. It has been a challenging season here, and all around me friends are ill, discouraged, bereaved, struggling with difficult jobs and relationships or the lack of either, and generally groaning with the rest of the sin-sick creation for the glorious freedom and redemption yet to come.
Even so, even with all the pain of life, all is well for the children of God. Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, was born into our pain as a vulnerable infant. He took up residence in the joys and sorrows of our days and knew them in every respect except sin. That sin He bore in a horrible death on a cross so that those who trust Him might bear His righteousness as a gift. The grave could not hold Him, but He rose on the third day and later ascended to the right hand of the Father until the time is right for His return in glory.
Until then, He remains our Immanuel, "God with us." All truly is well because of Jesus.
Lord, we believe; help our unbelief. Make each soul reading these words especially aware of Your presence with him, with her today. Amen.
"All shall be well,
and all shall be well,
and all manner of things shall be well."
-Dame Julian of Norwich (c.1342-c.1416)
been loving your blog...thanks for the quiet pondering posts...
i had to comment on this one since, i, too, have Christmas music on already...and no choir practice to be found!
praying for you!
Great minds think alike, and so do ours. :-) Thanks for the affirmation and prayers, friend!